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The Coming of Age

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  215 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
What do the words elderly, old, and aged really mean? How are they used by society, and how in turn do they define the generation that we are taught to respect and love but instead castigate and avoid? Most importantly, how is our treatment of this generation a reflection of our society's values and priorities?

In The Coming of Age, Simone de Beauvoir seeks greater understa
Paperback, 592 pages
Published June 17th 1996 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1970)
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Emma Sea
Jun 27, 2013 Emma Sea rated it it was ok
A disappointing read: there was much skimming from page 361 to the end.

I expected this to be an unpicking of cultural attitudes to aging, but it is instead simply a whole bunch of anecdotes, statistics, and facts.

40 years is a long time in gerontology. Many of the attitudes and expectations that de Beauvoir is discussing are no longer currently held by older adults themselves. Many are still held by younger adults (a letter to the editor in a national newspaper here seriously suggested compulsor
Jun 13, 2010 Janie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: body-works, history
I might have never discovered this book had I not stumbled upon it on the sale rack at Salvation Army. An encyclopedic examination on the process of aging from a physiological, spiritual, and cultural - ancient and modern, Eastern and Western - perspectives. Impeccably written, the language and extent of research shows de Beauvoir's brilliance. One might think the subject depressing to read; de Beauvoir makes it a fascinating exploration of life's inevitable and universal journey.
Reading this 8-chapter “Old Age” by Simone de Beauvoir was, I think, surprisingly inspiring, informative and sympathetic since she has elegantly written it to her readers to know and understand innumerable cases of some famous elderly in the west and the east. Having bought this paperback since 2009, I have read some interesting parts and quitted due to insufficient motive. So I wonder if its readership might have been a bit limited because of such a seemingly boring title, in other words, this ...more
Jan 26, 2013 Danae rated it really liked it
Decidí leer esto antes de ser vieja porque esperaba ideas desoladoras. Lejos de eso creo que este libro contribuye a la comprensión de los viejos y el rol que ocupan en la sociedad, te topas de frente con la realidad de que "todos vamos a ser viejos" por lo que es de descerebrados no considerar este estadio de la vida en las actividades de una sociedad.
La similar estructura que El Segundo Sexo permite que sea una lectura amena e interdisciplinaria.
No puedo no pensar en la situación de los ancian
Ruth Santana Valencia
Decidí leer este libro para entender el proceso por el cual mis padres están transitando y al cual si el cuerpo lo permite todos llegaremos. El libro es todo un viaje (independientemente de las 707 páginas a letra hormiga –ya le perdí el miedo a libros de más de 500 páginas-) el cual está divido en tres partes son más capítulos pero creo que se puede resumir así.

Primeramente el estudio a través de la historia como se manejaba la vejez desde las culturas antiguas y recorriendo diferentes partes d
Nick Klagge
Aug 23, 2016 Nick Klagge rated it liked it
I ended up reading this book in two disjoint sessions (had to return to library in the middle--it's over 500 pages long), so some of my memory of it is not as sharp as it otherwise might be.

This book has great promise, and although it's good, the promise is ultimately not fulfilled. As I understand it, the book is something of a spiritual successor to Beauvoir's earlier and much more famous work, "The Second Sex" (which I have not read). In TCA, she portrays how the elderly are defined in relat
Apr 27, 2014 Suzanne rated it liked it
I was referred to this book as the classic on age and aging. Indeed, there is a wealth of historical fact on attitudes to and treatment of the aged in a range of cultures. Overall it makes for a depressing read, even more so when de Beauvoir moves on to The Being in the World and examines the neglect of the aged in current (late 1960s) society. Her political sympathies come to the fore in the demonstration of the contrasting fates of the working class as opposed to the wealthier aged. Yet, notwi ...more
Shervin Ghiami

I'm surprised this is as obscure as it is, given its massive importance within general philosophy and the time it must have taken de Beauvoir to write it. La Veillesse is a huge book covering the concept of old age throughout history. It should be treated more as a textbook than anything else, for although it transitions from anthropology, to history, to art history, to personal, Roman philosophy, it is extremely repetitive and the point is pretty well summarized in the conclusion. But this i
Mary Karpel-Jergic
An outstanding existential analysis of how it is to be an ageing human being. How we are viewed by others. "if old people show the same desires, the same feelings and the same requirements as the young, the world looks upon them with disgust: in them love and jealousy seem revolting or absurd, sexuality repulsive and violence ludicrous"

But we were all young once and if we don't die before, we will all age.
Louise Silk
Oct 28, 2010 Louise Silk rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
This book is a difficult long read. It is filled with facts and statistics- almost like Ms. De Beauvoir has to prove that we do in fact age. I would have much more interested in reading her own experience and feeling about the agin process.
Aug 01, 2007 Ali rated it liked it
اثری خواندنی از سیمون دو بوار. در فارسی کتابی با نام "کهنسالی" از سیمون دوبوار در 1365 منتشر شده که محمدعلی طوسی آن را ترجمه کرده. به احتمال قریب به یقین همین اثر اوست.
Chris Gager
Oct 13, 2011 Chris Gager rated it liked it
Barely remember it but it was a textbook for a class I took at CU back in the 70's."The Sociology of Aging" or something like that. Date read is approximate.
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"Simone de Beauvoir was a French author and philosopher. She wrote novels, monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues, essays, biographies, and an autobiography. She is now best known for her metaphysical novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, and for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary femin ...more
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“The past is not a peaceful landscape lying there behind me, a country in which I can stroll wherever I please, and will gradually show me all its secret hills and dales. As I was moving forward, so it was crumbling. Most of the wreckage that can be seen is colourless, distorted, frozen: its meaning escapes me... all that's left is a skeleton. I shall never find my plans again, my hopes and fears - I shall not find myself.” 20 likes
“one can never know oneself but only narrate oneself” 5 likes
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